I’ve owned every Nintendo console and handheld since the N64 and Gameboy Pocket. Now, that isn’t too many, but it’s roughly fifteen years of Nintendo. I love Smash Bros. and games like Mario Party or Super Mario Galaxy. And Pokemon will always have a special place in my heart. So this isn’t coming from a place of hate or anything like that. I respect Nintendo, but I honestly believe that the WiiU isn’t worth buying anymore.
Earlier this week was Nintendo’s E3 Direct. They don’t have a traditional briefing like the other companies anymore, they haven’t for a few years now. So instead of doing a stage presentation, they post a video onto a live streaming service and hit play. Then everyone watches for an hour and waits for something interesting to happen.
Last time – if I remember correctly – there was the Star Fox announcement. This year, there was nothing. We had more info on Star Fox, and a few little announcement, but there was nothing to knock people’s socks off with. No Zelda, no Pokemon, no new 3D Mario game. There were a few cool games, but most of them are for the 3DS.
And that’s something that I’ve been seeing throughout the life cycle of the WiiU. Anything that’s worth buying – with very, very few exceptions – also appears on the 3DS. Even the most arguably important game for the console, Super Smash Bros., was available on the 3DS. And while I understand that Nintendo wanted to give people the chance to take their favorite game on the go, I think it did more to hurt them than they realize.
The WiiU has not sold well. Some might consider that the understatement of the century, but after the original Wii, Nintendo finds themselves in a weird spot. They were the kings, and now, yet again, they are back against the wall. Nothing says that more than the fact that they are already talking about a new console.
Codenamed the NX, Nintendo’s newest console will be talked about next year. What faith could Nintendo have in their product if they’re already getting people ready for what’s next? This Direct they had pretty much confirmed that. Most of the games were 3DS based and the WiiU only games appear to be stragglers that they have no choice to put on the console at this point. This only tells me I should be waiting instead of investing in the WiiU at this point.
I had hoped that Smash Bros. would be the game that put the WiiU in the spotlight for me. But I have friends who own the game and I still have the older, better Smash games that I can play on my Wii. Even games like Splatoon and Mario Kart 8 that look fun, are just not enough.
The saddest part about it all, I think, is that I don’t really feel like I’m missing out on anything. I’m not jealous of my friends who did buy the console. Especially for the price it’s at right now, roughly $350, there isn’t enough bang for my buck. On the other hand, my PS4 – priced at $400 – has given me more than I could ask for with games like Shadow of Morder and The Witcher 3.
That might not be much at the moment, but at least I’m guaranteed years of service with that console. I can only wonder how long it’ll be before Nintendo turns off the online services and pretends the console never existed.
Until then, I’ll be waiting patiently for news on the NX and hope that it will be something worth paying attention to, and maybe even buying.